Weedon Island Preserve offers great year round fishing whether it be from the fishing pier, kayak (there is a kayak launch next to the fishing pier), wading or by boat.
Kayaking and wading is a very popular way to fish Weedon Island Preserve. There are two kayak/canoe trails that range over 4 miles here.
The southern kayak/canoe trail is a 4 mile loop. This trail is accessed best by using the kayak launch next to the fishing pier.
The northern kayak/canoe trail is a one-way trail that goes from the enlarged mosquito ditch (at the parking area along the west side of San Martin Blvd just east of the Derby Lane dog track on Gandy Blvd in St Pete) through Snug Harbor and ends at the beach along Gandy Blvd.
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Fishing Weedon Island Preserve from a flats or bay boat is another option that many anglers use.
While fishing from a boat allows you to cover more ground than wading or kayaking, many people go to their destination by boat and then get out and wade.
This can be a very productive way to fish this area because the fish can be very spooky at times, and this is the stealthiest way to approach them.
During Spring, Summer, and Fall, the outer flats of Weedon Island Preserve that face Tampa Bay along the "Slow Speed Markers" offer great fishing for Trout, Ladyfish, Jacks and the occasional Redfish, Snook and Spanish Mackeral.
For live bait, shrimp and greenbacks are the bait of choice. If you prefer to use artificial bait a gold spoon or a soft plastic on a 1/8-1/4 oz jig head is a great choice.
Move up to the mangroves on the flats that face Tampa Bay inside the "No Combustible Motor Zones" and find Snook, Redfish, Trout and Mullet. While Mullet are not a game fish they play a big part when locating Redfish so keep your eye out for them.
These mangroves produce great numbers of Snook and Redfish during Spring, Summer and Fall. A live or cut greenback usually won't last long if Snook or Redfish are in the area.
Around the entrance of Weedon Island Preserve you can find Trout and Ladyfish in good numbers. A shrimp under a popping cork is a sure bet for a great day of non-stop action. But a soft plastic jig worked slowly across the bottom works well for artificials.
Once inside the channel of Weedon Island Preserve you will notice all the residential docks and seawalls.
Some of these docks hold a lot of fish and provide places to target whether it be night fishing for Snook (many of these have lights) or staying out of the wind on a windy day.
You can find Snook, Reds, Sheepshead, Ladyfish, Trout, Black Drum, Flounder and many other species around these docks.
Pitching a live shrimp or a fresh greenback under the docks or up against the seawall is the preferred method that most fish cannot resist. But Jigs and suspending baits work well for artificials.
The mangrove shorelines and back country inside Weedon Island hold good numbers of Redfish, Snook, and Trout during the Winter months.
But be careful when fishing these areas because it is very shallow in many places.
The best way to get to many of these spots is by kayak but there are deeper areas you can reach by boat. Look for deeper areas that will hold water on the negative low tides throughout the Winter.
The fish will move to these deeper holes during the winters negative low tides. Look for Redfish, Snook and Trout for non-stop action all day long if you are lucky enough to find one of these honey holes.
Around the fishing pier you can catch Sheepshead, Trout, Redfish, Snook and Ladyfish. I have seen many Redfish and Sheepshead caught on the oyster bar on the west side of the fishing pier.
I know some guys that do well wading this area too, but be careful the bottom is very soft and full of oysters that are extremely sharp. Around the fishing pier, live shrimp either free lined or under a popping cork is the bait of choice.
On weekdays with little boat traffic the sandbars and oyster bars that line the channel (that goes from the entrance back to Riviera Bay) are good places to find Flounder, Sheepshead, Snook, Redfish, Trout and Ladyfish.
The best approach to fishing these areas is with a jig, spoon, or suspending bait. The idea is to cover a lot of water so throwing your lure upstream and working it parallel to the shoreline or oyster bar will work best.
Once you go past the fishing pier the channel opens up into what looks like a lake, this area is called Riviera Bay. This is a good area to fish on windy days due to the amount of places you can fish in here.
This area has deep water in the middle with shallow, sandy shorelines and residential docks. So you will be able to get out of the wind regardless which direction it's coming from.
Look for Trout, Redfish, Snook and a variety of other fish as they take advantage of the deeper water to take refuge in during the colder winter months.
A 3" gulp shrimp on a 1/4oz jig head or a gold spoon works best for artificial baits, but a shrimp under a popping cork or a free lined live shrimp works best for live bait.
If you go under the little bridge on the west side of Riviera Bay there are many more residential docks and seawalls that will hold fish during the Winter months.
There is a little boat ramp back there that is great for small boats. I launch here a lot if the conditions are bad and I don't want to cross the bay, it's perfect for those kind of days.
The downside to this ramp is there's only enough parking for 4 vehicles. So if you have a kayak it's best to use the kayak launch next to the fishing pier so it doesn't tie up the parking for people with boat trailers.
Whether you decide to go wading or take the boat out, Weedon Island Preserve has endless fish catching opportunities. It doesn't matter if it's your 1st time here or 100th time, there are always new spots to find and new places to explore.